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The final quarter of the year is such a scramble for me, as it is for most people, I suppose, what with the short days, holidays, deadlines, comfort food, and fall tv. Add to that the 2016 US Presidential campaign and outcome, and thus we have this taquitos photo as cover art. Through it all I managed to listen to a bunch of interesting music, and some of it is collected here. The human voice and the relationship between voices kept coming up as a focus for me last quarter, and I’m starting to realize there’s a lesson for me to learn here. Happy new year to you.

    1. Me And Your Mama | Childish Gambino
      “Awaken, My Love!” | 2016
      This mix will take a couple abrupt turns along the way, so I thought “Me And Your Mama” might be a decent icebreaker. Have you watched ATLANTA? My first worst moment of 2017 occurred on new year’s day when I turned on the tv to bang out the final few episodes only to learn the show was no longer available on demand. Nooo!
    2. Writer | Lambchop
      Flotus | 2016
      Flotus > 22, A Million (IMO)
    3. Solid Wall Of Sound | A Tribe Called Quest
      We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service | 2016
      Tribe and crew sound fantastic throughout this album, and their team verse approach on “Solid Wall Of Sound” is especially hypnotizing. It’s weird, maybe, but I feel proud of them for coming through with such a well-done, true-to-form, and relevant record that managed to stand out in the flood of great music released in 2016. And Elton even guests! Big tune make the world go round.
    4. These Words | The Lemon Twigs
      Do Hollywood | 2016
      I’m looking forward to seeing The Lemon Twigs live at the end of this month with Graham, who brought this song to my attention. They risk the same pitfalls that Foxygen succumbed to, but for now let’s just enjoy the pop pleasure of “These Words”.
    5. Mad (Feat. Lil Wayne) | Solange
      A Seat At The Table | 2016
      It was an easy decision to put A SEAT AT THE TABLE at the top of my list of favorite albums this year, but it was hard to choose the song to put on this mix. Lil Wayne’s guest appearance on “Mad” made it a stand-out for me, and Dane rightfully already selected “Cranes In The Sky” for his mix. So, “Mad” it is. Any would be worthy, really.
    6. To Move On | Alex Izenberg
      Harlequin | 2016
      This is one of those idiosyncratic bordering on obnoxious tunes that I would have first seen on MTV2 if it were the 90s. I can’t keep my hands off this stuff.
    7. We Begged 2 Explode | Jeff Rosenstock
      WORRY. | 2016
      It took a little effort to work through the emo/punk-pop sound, but I do enjoy this record. I wasn’t surprised when Dane included a Rosenstock track on his mix this quarter, as well. I originally chose it for mine to sort of see what he’d say about, anyway.
    8. Primrose | MARBLED EYE
      MARBLED EYE | 2016
      One of the perks of working weekends at KEXP is the chance to happen upon cool bands like Marbled Eye when they’re in to tape a session. Thanks, West, for recommending I drop in to check them out. They sounded great.
    9. Crazy Drums | The Outlaws
      The Emotional, Cosmic & Occult World Of Joe Meek | 2014
      Dane, I thought of your samples project when I heard this song. I picked up this record at Mississippi Records while Margaret and I visited Portland in October. It includes a good variety Joe Meek’s heavy studio magic, and that’s how I like it.
    10. Hey Kids (Bumaye) (Feat. Danny Brown) | Run The Jewels
      Run The Jewels 3 | 2016
      It took me a couple listens to let the high quality composition and content throughout RTJ3 really sink in. Best RTJ album? I can definitely see a case for that, but that’s a tough call. I went with “Hey Kids (Bumaye)” for the mix because Danny Brown deserves an appearance for all of the great music he put out last year. Yet again, see also: Dane’s Q4 mix.
    11. Cubicle (Feat. Alex Attard) | Sammus
      Pieces In Space | 2016
      I’ve been appreciating more female rappers lately, which is awesome but also embarrassing in that it only shows I wasn’t paying attention to them all along. I first learned about Sammus on AdHoc. Check out the interview to learn more about her music, including a tidbit about her origins in classroom rap.
    12. London | Mega Bog
      Happy Together | 2017
      Mega Bog steps a bit outside the “Shadows Break” here on “London”. This, along with everything else I’ve heard from the forthcoming album, HAPPY TOGETHER, has me looking forward to its release next month.
    13. The Governor | Nicolas Jaar
      Sirens | 2016
      For really no good reason I found myself reluctant to check out SIRENS. And when I finally did, it was just after “The Governor” on my first pass when I fatigued from listening and sort of tuned out. It’s not that the music is boring or entirely overbearing (well, a little here and there, maybe), it’s that it’s complex in ways that sometimes aggravate me. Like, does he really need all of those drum fills?
    14. Tumblers To The Vault | Syrinx
      Tumblers From The Vault | 2016
      Syrinx is a Canadian electronic music group from the early 1970s who wrote the theme song to the strange looking tv show Here Come The 70s. There are many cool moments throughout this new comp, but nothing that beats “Tumblers To The Vault”.
    15. Video Singing Score No.3 | Sean McCann
      Music For Public Ensemble | 2016
      Alright, if you’ve made it this far in the mix and your attention span is waning, well, I’m sorry. Sean McCann might be a little too much, but I kind of like how those long pauses get me sooner or later, every listen.
    16. Happy New Year To You | The Qualities
      Singles: The Definitive 45s Collection, Vol. 1: 1952-1961 | 2016
      Dane dropped a robust Sun Ra starter pack under my tree this Christmas. So great! (said in my best Justin Timberlake Jimmy Fallon) Prior to this gift, I hadn’t even scratched the surface of Sun Ra’s music and story. In addition to two multi-album compilations (TO THOSE OF EARTH… AND OTHER WORLDS is the other), he also sent me a book and a DVD. I’m looking forward to everything, and I wanted to close on a hopeful note. So, here we have a sweet little new year tune by The Qualities.

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